Self-loathing: I don’t really see the point of it. Sure, I understand why we do it from time to time (some of us, all the time) but, for the most part, it serves no positive purpose. It’s a total waste of time and energy; a toxic habit. It’s also a terrible mental and emotional investment. And, an unnecessary one. Nonetheless, many of us seem to be very committed to it.
“Hey, you look great.”
“Thanks but you’re just being nice.”
“Wow, how did that happen?”
“I’m an idiot; that’s how.”
If anything, all self-loathing creates is a deeper and deeper hole that becomes increasingly harder to climb out of, not only for the self-loather, but also for anyone in his or her orbit. And sadly, the further we dig ourselves into our self-loathing hole, the darker our world becomes. And in case you didn’t know, hanging out with a self-loather is about as much fun as a migraine. Exhausting and painful.
A Bad Habit
When I talk about self-loathing here, I’m talking about the habit many of us have of constantly talking ourselves down; like we’re worthless, ugly, stupid (feel free to insert your own adjective at this point), not-good-enough pieces of dirt. You know; that habit. And if we’re not careful, over time we’ll eventually over-analyse, over-think and over-react ourselves all the way to disconnection, dysfunction and misery. And who wants to visit that place, let-alone live there?
As I’ve shared many times before, we all exist in a three-dimensional world (on a practical level) but where we do most of our living is in our thoughts. Healthier thoughts produce healthier decisions, behaviours and outcomes. And ultimately, healthier people.
Acknowledge your self-loathing thoughts for what they are (unhealthy internal dialogue) and recognise that they are not you and you are not them. Thoughts are nothing more than meaningless and powerless theories until you give them meaning and power. Until you breathe life into them.
No, you are not your thoughts.
Self-Loathing Vs Self-Awareness
Of course, there is a big difference between the destructive habit of self-loathing and the productive habit of consciously, intelligently and methodically taking a personal development journey. Being aware of our faults and shortcomings is not the same as constantly beating ourselves up or obsessing about them. Neither is it the same as creating problems out of thin air. Neither is it the same as turning minor shortcomings into major flaws (in our minds). Which we do also.
Just ask the attractive girl who has the “enormous, hideous nose”.
Wanting to learn, grow and become a new-and-improved version of you (for want of a better term) in a healthy and intelligent manner is at the opposite end of the scale to self-loathing. One is constructive. The other, destructive.
I’ve never met a person who has not experienced the “I’m not good enough” feeling at some stage of their journey and naturally, I have felt it many times. It’s called being human and it’s okay. What’s not okay is for those feelings to destroy your potential, your plans, your happiness or your future. What’s not okay is for those feelings to hijack your cerebral landscape. What’s not okay is for those feelings to determine your decisions, your behaviours or your reality. Even in the middle of my (relative) success, I often have feelings of inadequacy. Still. Fortunately for me, I recognise those feelings for what they are not: me.
In case you haven’t been told lately, I’ll tell you now: you’re good enough.